FTSE 100 drops as commodity stocks weigh, inflation doubles
London’s FTSE 100 slipped on Wednesday, dragged down by heavyweight commodity stocks, while a bigger-than-expected jump in inflation stoked fears that the central bank may tighten its monetary policy earlier than expected.
The domestically focussed mid-cap FTSE 250 index (.FTMC) fell 0.4%.
Official figures showed British consumer price inflation more than doubled in April to 1.5%. The Bank of England hopes that the surge in inflation will be temporary as the economy recovers from last year’s COVID-19 slump.
A jump in regulated electricity and gas bills, and clothing and footwear prices pushed up the inflation reading. Prices charged by manufacturers also rose by 3.9%, while inputs prices increased by 9.9%, the most since February 2017. read more
“A successful vaccine rollout has paved the way for the reopening of the economy, and now consumers are eager to make up for lost time,” said Ambrose Crofton, global market strategist at J.P. Morgan Asset Management.
“Surging demand and supply bottlenecks were always going to lead to a jump in prices. The big question is how persistent these forces prove to be and judging by economists’ forecasts, the jury is still out.”
Globally, the mood was cautious as investors awaited minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve’s April meeting later in the day, where the policymakers are expected to reiterate their views on rising inflation.
Among individual stocks, Ferguson (FERG.L) climbed 3.7% to hit a record high after the plumbing and heating parts distributor reported a 65.4% jump in its third-quarter profit.
Publisher Future (FUTR.L) gained 9.2% after its first-half results beat market expectations.
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